March 15, 2005

Letter to the Paper ILII

Every once in awhile, my civic spirit overrides my partisan joy at watching Democrats self-destruct. The Dr. No routine won't work to get them back in power. It's only good for keeping Republicans weak and the country in molasses. Fortunately, the people over at Needlenose are starting to reach for something more, at least on Social Security. Here's what I left in comments as constructive criticism.

It's not a bad start and certainly better than the Dr. No routine you guys seem to be limited too lately. The problem is that the people who are going to be wacked with the 25% benefit cut in 2042 are generally old enough to vaguely remember that we were supposed to have already fixed Social Security back during the creation of the Trust Fund and an increase in retirement age (we'll be retiring at 67 in 2042) and tax increases didn't fix the problem last time so what's to keep the same sort of fix from failing this time.

Frankly, predicting female fertility 10 years from now seriously goes into the mix of whether there's going to be a political rebellion among the electorate when I need my own SS benefits, leaving me high and dry. That's a fool's game to rely on but we've tied ourselves to future female fertility with this current funding scheme. If you want a real nightmare, plug Italy's fertility curve from the past couple of decades into the SS financing formulas and watch your proposed solution completely collapse, needing further fix after further fix to the point of unsustainability.

The guaranteed benefit will always be held hostage to future female fertility with a lag of a few decades. If you guys remain committed to a holy war on private accounts, the guaranteed benefit is all you'll get. Private accounts diversify your risk. The only responsible alternative to that diversification is state restriction on abortion and contraception and lots of new workers getting a paycheck and paying retirement checks. Everything else is whistling past the graveyard and hoping that kids don't go out of style and we follow the EU to the demographic graveyard and financial ruin.

Do you guys even realize how badly you're wedging your own coalition? It's the feminists versus the seniors. Bush has given you an out of that dilemma with private accounts and you've decided that this is where you make your stand. It's a mistake.

Posted by TMLutas at March 15, 2005 11:03 AM